Twelve undergraduates met last night in Canaday Hall to organize a Harvard chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
"The United States spends over $600 million each year on marijuana arrests and prosecutions," Val Slayton '80, who organized the meeting, said last night.
"Harvard should exert its influence in favor of decriminalization for dope possessors and personal users." Slayton said.
Plans for a Harvard chapter of NORML could include establishing a local laboratory to test marijuana for Paraquat, the contaminating herbicide currently being used by the Mexican government to destroy marijuana crops, Slayton said.
Paraquat may cause pulmonary disease, and the only laboratory now available to test for it is in California.
To achieve University recognition, a Harvard NORML chapter would need the approval of Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, and the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL). Epps said last night he "needed more information" to assess the proposed organization before granting his approval.